The Martlets kicked things off in the tourney opener, Friday with a 25-12, 25-7, 25-17 win over Cape Breton, then followed that with Saturday wins over Dalhousie (25-20, 25-16, 25-18) and Acadia (25-13, 25-15, 25-19).
Leading the team offensively over the weekend was Catherine Amyot, a third-year power-hitter from Ottawa, who had 34 points in four matches, 29 of them on kills. Other top scorers were Marie-Christine Lapointe (31.5) and rookie Myriam Robitaille (29).
“What we really did well this weekend was to play together as a group,” said McGill head coach Rachele Beliveau, who took advantage of the lopsided games to rotate all of her players into the lineup, which meant that the stats were pretty much divided equally. “We were really focussed on team performance instead of individual play and it brought us to another level. We were in control in every match and played really good volleyball.”
Lapointe also led the team defensively, posting 30 digs to edge out Marjoliaine Ste-Marie (29), Amyot (26) and Yasmeen Dawoodjee (26), the team’s setter who collected 90 of the team’s 105 assists.
Still out of the lineup was Daphnee-Maude Andre-Morin, the team’s all-star libero from Waterloo, Ont., who suffered a preseason concussion and it is not known when she will return.
Despite the perfect record, McGill was unable to gain ground on conference rivals Montreal and Laval, each of who also swept their maritime opponents. The Martlets were able to gain a game on Sherbrooke, which lost one of their four contests.
This sets up a key match-up in the coming week as the Martlets will put their perfect record on the line Oct. 31 when they travel to Sherbrooke for a Halloween rendez-vous against the Vert & Or, who defeated mcGill in the final regular season game last year to knoock the Martlets out of a playoff berth. A win in Sherbrooke and McGill will have a two-game lead over their rivals in the Eastern Townships. A loss and they will be back to square one.
MARTLET MURMURS: Coach Beliveau revealed that her squad will have co-captains this year with seniors Yasmeen Dawoodjee of Ottawa and Daphnee-Maude Andre-Morin, who has returned to complete a master’s degree in sports psychology… Serving as an alternate captain this year will be Marie-Christine Lapointe, a fifth-year setter from St. Jean sur Richelieu.